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Virtually noise-free Eco Whisper Turbine unveiled

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November 1, 2011

Renewable Energy Solutions Australia recently unveiled the first working installation of w...

Renewable Energy Solutions Australia recently unveiled the first working installation of what is claimed to be the world's quietest wind turbine - the Eco Whisper Turbine

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Brisbane's Renewable Energy Solutions Australia (RESA) recently unveiled the first working installation of what is claimed to be the world's quietest wind turbine. The Eco Whisper Turbine is capable of producing 20kW of electricity despite being about half the height and having half the blade diameter of more familiar three-bladed solutions, and is able to automatically adjust the position of the blades to maximize wind capture.

Much of the noise produced by small wind turbines occurs when air spills off the tip of the blades but thanks to a unique cowl/ring design, the Eco Whisper Turbine is said to benefit from near-silent operation. RESA says that its design can produce more than 30 percent more energy than other turbine solutions over a wide range of wind conditions - that translates to up to 45,000 kWh per year in optimum conditions.

The company expects its grid or off-grid green energy solution to meet the medium to high power needs in urban and rural applications like airports, business parks, commercial sites and universities. The company's Michael Le Messurier reports that interest from the industry has been overwhelming since the first installation was recently unveiled at Austeng Engineering in Geelong, Victoria.

Standing 21.1 meters (69.225 feet) tall from tip to toe, a 6.5 meter (21.325 foot) diameter blade sits at the top of a hinged steel pole that can be lowered for maintenance or during extreme weather conditions - although the structure is designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 220 km/h (136.7 mph). The central hub and the 30 blades that fan out from it are made from aluminum, and the solution incorporates dynamic slew drive technology that negates the need for a tail.

Other noteworthy benefits of this turbine development include a low start up speed and high visibility that should help the local bird population avoid injury.

The following video shows the Eco Whisper Turbine in action:

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
13 Comments

I have stood under a running 1.5 megawatt windmill in about a thirty mile per hour wind. There was not enough noise to worry about.

I would say that most of the noise is generated by interactions between multiple windmills, just like most of the noise a helicopter makes is a result of the interaction between rotors.

Slowburn
1st November, 2011 @ 07:53 am PDT

The problem is that the video had no sound - not ambient noise of any kind. And it appeared to be in very low wind conditions...

dsiple
1st November, 2011 @ 01:23 pm PDT

It may or may not create less noise, but it almost certainly has the same problems as other high solidity rotors, including vulnerability to high winds and interference in the air flow.

Gadgeteer
1st November, 2011 @ 03:45 pm PDT

Deep in the bowels of NASA is a drawing of the ubiquitous huge 3 bladed fan. Dated 1946.

Hard to believe that there have been no advances in the past 65 years.

And the politicians are on that nonsense bandwagon and those in Canada have incurred the wrath of the voting populace then they iced up last winter and were shut down. Take their initial low efficiency and slice that in half you then you might get it.

The problem is that the blades are designed as wings meant to fly.

But time and again we have seen that the best performers operate on another principle called resistance. Spinnakers operate quite differently in principle than mainsails.

Resistance is the answer as we see here and in the Honeywell Design by Windtronics.

But no one has matched the efficiency in design of Bill Allison who achieved the Betz Limit of 59%. And Allison's fans were very quiet.

Here we also see what Bill discovered the inner 1/3 is useless in extracting energy.

All three, Allison, Windtronics, and Eco Whisper are made of metal. Allison insisted in stainless steel for strength and weather resistance. Bills test confirmed that dead flat highly polished blades extracted the greatest amount of energy.

Amazing that no academic institution has established a testing facility to compare and determine which design is actually the most efficient.

Unless things have changed since I went to school efficiency is the holy grail.

Bill Dickens

Island Architect
2nd November, 2011 @ 09:54 am PDT

re; Island Architect

Do you really believe that all the big wind energy companies haven't looked at Bill Allison's data and found it wanting.

Slowburn
2nd November, 2011 @ 06:28 pm PDT

Oh good, a new and improved ... bird blender.

Bob Komarek
2nd November, 2011 @ 08:17 pm PDT

re; Bob Komarek

The actual number of birds killed by windmills is lower by an order of magnitude than the official numbers.

Slowburn
2nd November, 2011 @ 08:36 pm PDT

Slowburn,

It's easier for some people to believe in a conspiracy than to admit that the concepts they love don't work.

Gadgeteer
4th November, 2011 @ 04:18 pm PDT

Wind power works! It is not the stand alone solution to all power needs, but makes a usefull addition. The old technology's have given us a golden age that, like it or not, is at an end!

Paul Adams
7th November, 2011 @ 03:23 am PST

I'd like to see production of smaller scale wind generators for domestic use. The Australian government has spent huge sums of money to encourage the installation of domestic solar systems with grid connecting inverters. Would be nice to have a similar option with wind. Even without government grants, if this was priced well I'm sure it would have high adoption rates. Sadly no one seems to be driving the domestic uptake of wind systems. Of course there needs to be more political will to encourage it's adoption. But without the availability of off-the-shelf systems customised for domestic installs, we are behind the 8-ball. What is likely the biggest obstacle will be council regulations. If these are indeed on the quieter side and small enough not to be an eyesore they should be widely adopted.

Australian
11th November, 2011 @ 03:13 pm PST

@Slowburn - The noise made by a turbine is greater relative to background noise in low winds. Rather than standing beneath a turbine in 30mph winds, try standing beneath it on a warm summers evening when there's very little wind. You'll notice the noise it makes then.

@Australian - Sadly, the size of this wind turbine would be for domestic use, or at very most a small company that wants to appear like they're doing great for the environment by waving their big useless fan.

@Island Architect - Have you ever done the maths behind wind turbine calculation? There's a reason the Bet limit can't be exceeded!

Carlos Sainz-Simmonds
28th November, 2011 @ 01:51 pm PST

Are the nay-sayers on Gizmag from the same gene pool as those who scoffed and howled at the first steam engine, lightbulb, telegraph, camera, motorcar, aeroplane, television, helicopter, jet engine, sinclair zx spectrum (yes, and C5), mobile phone, etc., etc. and probably the first wheel and sliced bread too?

Ben Grillet
1st December, 2011 @ 05:45 am PST

It was news to me that wind generators generate noise. 20 kw is a toy version anyway.

Emdenfahrer
8th November, 2012 @ 09:55 am PST
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